By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A man who was treated for an opiate overdose is seemingly connected to two separate criminal damage incidents in which multiple vehicle tires were punctured.
Police want to speak to Chevy Frank Lopez, 38, of Safford, regarding two incidents that took place sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Officers initially came upon Lopez at about 5:16 a.m., Saturday, at 300 E. U.S. Highway 70 when Lopez apparently was suffering from an opiate overdose. A Safford officer administered Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) to Lopez, who then began breathing prior to the arrival of paramedics. Lopez was then transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Local law enforcement recently received additional training and supplies to administer Narcan to overdose victims.
By the next morning, officers received calls regarding criminal damage at two residences near the house where Lopez used to live. Additionally, a relative of Lopez lives across the street from one of the residences where the damage occurred, and that victim believes he is the culprit.
The first victim said he returned to his residence in the 1100 block of 9th Avenue at about 7 a.m. after working an overnight shift and discovered his sidewalk lights had all been kicked and broken. Then he noticed all four tires on his black, Ford Explorer were punctured and he also had a punctured tire on his silver, Ford Explorer and his white truck as well. The damaged tires were estimated at $1650 and the lights were estimated at $120.
The residents said they have had continual issues with the resident across the street, Lopez’s relative, and believe that he is dealing drugs.
While taking the criminal damage report, a resident from the 800 block of 11th Street approached the officer and informed him that someone had also flattened two tires on his van with an estimated damage of $240. All of the tires from both incidents were punctured in a similar fashion.
That resident also believed Lopez’s relative had an issue with him because the victim’s family was partially responsible for having Lopez kicked out of the house he was living in, which is next to the victim’s residence.
Lopez’s relative said he didn’t see who damaged the vehicles across the street but that his dogs woke him up between 3 – 3:30 a.m. and that his girlfriend heard somebody kick a ladder in their backyard. Additionally, he said he noticed a door at an abandoned home next to where Lopez used to live was open when it normally would be shut.
The officer listed that there are no suspects in the criminal damage case on 9th Avenue but Lopez was an investigative lead regarding the criminal damage on 11th Street, even though both incidents appeared to have been caused by the same instrument during the same time frame.